ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A Turkish extradition request for the second of nine Turkish citizens who were arrested on terror charges in Athens days before a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was rejected by a Greek court Tuesday.
Turkey has sought the extradition of Naci Ozpolat, 48, a Turkish citizen of Kurdish origin, on charges of assisting a terrorist organization. He was one of nine people arrested late last year for alleged links to the left-wing Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, which Turkey, the United States and the European Union deem a terrorist organization.
Prosecutor Ourania Stathea recommended the court reject the extradition request on grounds there were risks of Ozpolat being tried in Turkey for offenses besides the ones listed on the extradition request.
After the hearing, Ozpolat returned to jail, where he is being held on Greek charges of possessing explosives. He has alleged that Turkey’s extradition request is politically motivated since he opposes the government there.
He said he was imprisoned in Turkey during 1990-2002 for his political activity, and again in 2004-2006.
Earlier this year, a Greek court rejected a similar extradition request for the first of the nine on the grounds that France had been granted him refugee status. The court said he was at risk of torture or other inhumane treatment, if he were returned to Turkey.